It's been a long time since the Washington Redskins had a franchise QB and there's no shortage of appreciation for their current one. Robert Griffin III better known as RG3 is getting married this summer and some generous Redskins fans found RG3's wedding registry and bought all the more affordable items on the list. RG3 made it clear that he didn't ask fans to buy anything and he thanked of the givers by sending hand-written "thank you" notes.
I understand some of the blowback RG3 received -- obviously the superstar QB is a millionaire who can buy his own household items. But purchasing gifts off a wedding registry isn't that different from buying a jersey or something else to show your support for a player or team. Plus, I really can't find it in my heart to hate on any type of giving. I'm soft like that!
While we're on the subject of giving, there are not many people more generous than Oklahoma Thunder star Kevin Durant. Immediately after the terrible storms that decimated the town of Moore Durant donated 1 million dollars to tornado relief efforts with no announcement, pomp or circumstance. Many people's first reaction was that he's very rich so one milli isn't a lot to him. That's why I'm glad BuzzFeed had a sports expert weigh in and explain that Durant's donation was a significant percentage of his income. People seem to forget that when an NBA player signs a contract, though they certainly receive a substantial amount quickly, they don't get every dime at once. Plus there's agents and myriad taxes to pay (unless you want to end up in jail like too many celebs of late!).
In addition to the cash donation Durant made, he convinced Nike to donate apparel and 100% of the profits from sales of the KD V Elite. The KD V Elite shoe is pretty sick so if you're in the market for a new sneaker definitely check it out. Shameless plug: I wrote a great piece for discussion regarding Durant and his reputation for being a nice guy over on my blog.
In tennis news, Venus Williams was knocked out of the first round of the French Open on Sunday. If you don't know, Williams is fighting an immune system condition called Sjogren's Syndrome that causes dryness in the body that can be very painful and lead to other problems like pancreatitis and ulcers. Williams is also currently suffering from some lower back inflammation that made it difficult for her to prepare for competition. Since Williams announced her diagnosis of Sjogren's, every time she loses a match the subject of whether or not she will or should retire comes up for discussion.
On this subject, blogger Carolyn Edgar brought up a good point --is it really necessary or fair for writers to almost demand that Williams retire simply because she's not as good as she once was? It's curious to me because one thing the Williams sisters were always knocked for is being perceived by tennis establishment for not having enough passion for the game. Now, apparently, passion doesn't matter - just wins. I think it's perfectly fine for Williams to play simply because she loves the game and isn't mentally ready to quit for whatever reason. For Williams part, she told reporters that when she plays her last match she will "let you know."
I'll end this week's sports notes with an obligatory mention of the NBA playoffs. It's not that the games haven't been good -- some great basketball has been played. But I think the schedule and the lineup of lesser-followed teams has taken the air out of the playoffs this year and maybe that's why Tim Duncan's divorce is getting as much attention as Lebron James' superhuman performances. That being said, seeing teams like the Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies go so deep in the playoffs is probably a good thing in the long run. It certainly makes things slightly less predictable ... although it still looks very likely that the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat will meet in the Finals.
That wraps up this week's sports notes. Did we miss anything?
Jessica Danielle is a professional speechwriter and blogger who covers sports with wit and ardor at Playerperspective.com.